Reasons for the High Divorce Rate in Singapore

An online survey of 500 Singaporeans conducted shows that 24% of married people are thinking of filing for divorce. In fact, 1/3 of married persons feel upset by their partners at least once a week.

The Department of Statistics released data 7,522 divorces and annulments in 2015. This is the 3rd highest annual figure in Singapore. What are the reasons for the high divorce rate in Singapore?

What caused Singaporeans to think of divorce?

Many of those interviewed said they have arguments involving children and money.

The statistics are as follows:

  1. Fights about children- 46%
  2. Money- 41%
  3. Housework- 29%
  4. Excessive time on the phone/ computer- 28%
  5. Inattentiveness- 27%

Interestingly, more than 1 in 4 couples would quarrel over the amount of time their partner spends on the phone, than with them.

The New Paper spoke to counsellors.

Issues with technology

Ms. Evelyn Khong from Fei Yue Community Services shared an example. In one of her cases, the husband was obsessed with computer games. While he would get the family to have meals together, he would get his young child to finish eating faster so that he could get back to his games which he would play until 3am. In fact, he would even slap the child if the child ate too slowly.

Ms. Khong commented that technology can pull relationships apart.

As they say, there are 2 sides to every coin.

Mr. Jason Wong, chairman of “Focus on the Family Singapore” and founder of the “Dads for Life movement”, feels that technology can be used to build relationships. For instance, he uses technology to keep in touch with his daughter who is overseas.

Differences between the couple

According to counsellors, different cultures, backgrounds and upbringing of couples can result in problems in relationships.

Counsellor Mr. Willy Ho said he has encountered cases where couples fight over housework. While helpers may aid in solving the problem, there will be days when they are not around and couples need to do the basic things.

Qualities valued by most people

Generally, Singaporeans value partners who:

  1. Are easy to get along with.
  2. Are comfortable with not talking to each other.
  3. Enjoy common activities with each other.
  4. Respect individuality.
  5. Are honest.

Singaporean men also look out for women who express their love for them.

See: Chai Hung Yin, “1 in 4 married couples in Singapore are thinking of divorce”, The New Paper, 16 October 2016

There are many reasons for the high divorce rate in Singapore.

As a divorce lawyer in Singapore, I feel that the present generation of Singaporeans are more aware of their rights and there is less fear in filing for divorce.

Married couples may have less time to each other. Singapore is a stressful place to live in and many of us are constantly working. As Mr. James Wong suggested, “currency for the economy is money. The currency for a relationship is time.” Spending less time with each other could lead to the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage.

As a divorce lawyer in Singapore who has conducted hundreds of divorce and annulment cases, I have seen couples divorced for a variety of reasons. Contact us today to find out more about the reasons for the high divorce rate in Singapore or if you are facing marital/ family problems.

You may also be interested to read more about:

1. Divorce and Separation

2. Annulment (Nullity) of Marriage

3. Children’s Issues

4. Matrimonial Assets

5. Maintenance Issues (Alimony)

6. Family Violence

For more information, please contact us here.


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